Soulful, sultry and a little sassy, Toronto jazz vocalist SIMONE MORRIS exudes a rare blend of soulfulness and subtlety. She’s a natural storyteller who artfully lures audiences into her craftily-spun musical stories.
Rooted in jazz, this long-awaited debut album “SETTLING UP” weaves a musical path that conveys Morris’ diverse musical experience and background. Using her own life experiences to connect with audiences in a personal way, she engages in an intimate conversation that reveals her take on life and love.
Although many of the songs on Settling Up are more on the mellow side, like “What A Life,” – led by some tasty electric guitar licks and electric piano, and looks at the sense of defeat that’s underlying someone’s alcoholic behavior – the album opens with “Baby This Works,” a sassy swing number about a spunky woman in love, who sees only what she wants to see. The propulsive standup bass, skillful muted trumpet, and slyly insinuated vocal technique combine to create an entirely captivating whole, as charming and forthright as the attitude of the woman it describes. “Don’t Come Crying To Me” is a soft, gentle bossa nova – with a lovely nylon-string acoustic guitar solo – that contrasts with its hard, unflinching lyric, one that documents the very difficult end of a love affair. “Will To Fight” is a sweet, reassuring, surprisingly pop-ish song about overcoming the trauma of the past to find forgiveness and the ability to move forward. The piano and electric guitar solo are as yearning and vulnerable as the protagonist in the song. The final track “Take Us Home” was written after Morris and her daughter were in a car accident, prompting the creation of this album. Going even deeper than “Will to Fight,” the languid but emotionally resonant, Gospel-tinged song invites us to send our troubles floating down the river, so it can “take us home” to where we belong.